Association for Talent Development (ATD), as our professional organization, I ask you to lead not just with words, but with deeds.
This past weekend was the 4th of July; a date forever tied to the boldness of a document that forever changed the course of US history. The signers put their neck on the line, literally, to stand up and take action for something they believed in. Fast forward 244 years, and the streets are full of new revolutionaries fighting for equality, dignity, and justice. The press may have lost focus, but the people have not.
ATD, as our professional organization, I ask you to lead not just with words, but with deeds. We want to know how ATD plans to actively engage and work with minority speakers, from keynotes to sessions, conference planning committees, and industry vendors for your expo floors.
I have been an active member of ATD for over a decade, a local Chapter leader multiple times, served as a National Advisor for Chapters, and have spoken at many ATD conferences. ATD has been a constant factor in my professional life, and has helped my career in a million intangible ways.
But when I look at the speaker rosters, the conference planning committees, and the vendors on the expo floor I see that they have a trait in common - they are predominantly white.
Like every industry, we don’t have a lack of minority talent; we have a lack of effort to engage and recruit minority talent. This must change, and I hope ATD will choose this moment to stand up and take the lead for our profession.
Until such time as a plan is presented, I am stepping down from ATD Chapter Leadership, will not submit any speaking requests for ATD conferences nor Chapter events. I will continue asking, with ever increasing intensity, to see ATD’s plan to improve diversity and inclusion in regards to minority speakers, conference planning committees, and vendors.